Mammoth Lakes – This is Romeo and Juliet like you’ve never seen before. From Oct. 6 to Oct. 23 at the Edison Theatre, Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre presents a fresh twist on Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers, setting the stage in pre-World War II, Berlin where Romeo is a German boy and Juliet is a Jewish girl.
Accompany these two young lovers from their first blissful kiss to their final parting words as the powerful forces of traditional social expectations suffocate them, directed by MLRT’s Artistic Director, Shira Dubrovner.
“The thought of setting the play in pre-World War II came to me about 5 years ago and I’ve wanted to produce it ever since.” Dubrover said. “Coming from an Orthodox Jewish background, I also felt the pressure of fulfilling my family’s expectations. If I married someone non-Jewish, I would be disowned. Those expectations were ingrained in me and I felt connected to Juliet’s story because of that.”
For centuries, Romeo and Juliet has been the love story by which all others are measured and it is as fresh today as it was more than 450 years ago. This production breathes new life into this always-relevant tale.
The cast features two Cerro Coso Community College students, Marcelle Bouchard as Juliet and Skylar Simpkins as Romeo. Romeo’s friends Mercutio and Benvolio are played by Jimmy Davoren and Garrett Hallum, respectively. Playing the part of Tybalt, enemy to Romeo and his companions, is Nick Dixon.
The part of Paris, the wishful suitor to Juliet, is played by Alex Lopez. Playing Juliet’s nurse and Bubby is Gail Swain. Other cast members include Jeff Frome as Bathasar; Bob Struckman as Prince Escalus; Suzanne Tinsley as Apothecary; Carrie Pritchard as Rosaline; Tim Casey as Gypsy Lawrence; Lesley Anne Hoxie as Gypsy Joan; Rob Gill as Gregory; and Hope Reeves, Jade Narita, and Tyler Lovell as round up the cast.
Parents of the star-crossed lovers are portrayed by Chuck Scatolini as Lord Montague, Noelle Deinken as Lady Montague, Mike Aguirre as Lord Capylet, and Dubrovner as Lady Capulet.
“Lady Capulet has some beautiful scenes with Juliet, giving her some wonderful motherly advice,” Dubrovner said this week, who was last seen on a Mammoth stage in 2009 in the production, Sylvia. “She’s a complicated character because she’s torn between her daughter and her husband’s decrees.”
Dubrovner looked to Assistant Director Chuck Scatolini and Juliana Olinka to help assist her throughout the process.
“After joining the cast recently, it is definitely a challenge keeping an eye on the big picture and being in the big picture,” Dubrovner said. “But with the help from Juliana and Chuck, they’ve definitely kept me on track.”
The dance choreographer is Gigi Dejong and the fight choreographer is Doug Oliphant, an LA-based theatre director, movement director and fight choreographer who produces work through Drive Theatre. He was last seen in Mammoth when he directed and starred in MLRT’s production ofBluenose in 2012.
Romeo and Juliet opens Thursday, Oct. 6, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 online, $18 for students and seniors, $10 for children. Tickets at the door are $22, sorry no discounts. Purchase tickets online at www.MammothLakesRepertoryTheatre.org.
The Mammoth Lakes Foundation offers free education (books and tuition) to any Mono County resident and/or high school graduate who pursues an AA degree at Cerro Coso Community College and provides year-round theatre programming at Edison Theatre. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact the Foundation at (760) 934-3781 or visitMammothLakesFoundation.org. Our nonprofit work is only possible through your generosity.